One of the most underappreciated sociological phenomenons of the past two decades is the precipitous, almost miraculous, drop in the level of crime nationwide. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s violent crime rose sharply. We were beginning to wonder if living with such dangerous streets would be the new norm in America. Yet, there has been a dramatic decline in crime over the past two decades. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistic, violent crimes per 1,000 people nationally has declined from roughly 51 in 1994 to 15 in 2010.
Today, two new reports – one from BJS and one from Pew Research – show a parallel drop in gun-related homicides and non-fatal shootings, reports Fox News:
A study released Tuesday by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That’s a 39 percent reduction.
Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country’s population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 percent in 1993 to 3.6 percent in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.
Both reports also found the rate of non-fatal crimes involving guns was also down by around 70 percent over that period.
As we all know, this same time period has also coincided with the most ubiquitous liberalization of gun laws. Now, there are a number of factors related to policing and the criminal justice system that have played a large role in this downward trend of violent crime. But the question liberals cannot answer is this: if the problem is guns, not the criminals, how can the period of miraculous decline in crime coincide with such expansive proliferation of gun ownership and right to carry laws?
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